Pepperdine Opens West Coast Conference Action at San Francisco, Santa Clara

Christine Maddox

March 19, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #36 Pepperdine women’s tennis team opens West Coast Conference action on the road this weekend with matches at San Francisco and #72 Santa Clara. The Waves won both the WCC Tournament and regular-season title in 2013 as they begin the campaign to repeat in 2014.

MATCH 11 - #36 Pepperdine (6-4, 0-0 WCC) at San Francisco (11-4, 1-2 WCC) | March 21 | Olympic Club | 10 a.m.

MATCH 12 - #36 Pepperdine at #72 Santa Clara (7-4, 2-0 WCC) | March 22 | Degheri Tennis Center | 12 p.m.

WAVES’ SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the women’s tennis team on Twitter @PeppWTEN ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women’s Tennis ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.

COVERAGE - Scores and recaps will be posted at Available in-match updates can be followed on Twitter @PeppWTEN.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The West Coast Conference moved away from its previously awarded Player of the Month to Player of the Week in 2014 and the Waves have reaped the benefits ... Pepperdine has swept the awards three times this season, winning in both singles and doubles ... Singles Player of the Week winners include Michaela Capannolo (2/11) and Lorraine Guillermo (2/18, 3/4) ... Doubles Team of the Week winners include Michaela Capannolo/Yuki Chiang (2/11), Matea Cutura/Ale Granillo (2/18, 2/25, 3/4) and Lorraine Guillermo/Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (3/13)... To date, Pepperdine has won eight of the possible 12 awards issued.

SERIES SCORECARD - Pepperdine is 10-0 all-time vs. San Francisco but has only played the Dons on the road once ... The Waves are 12-0 vs. Santa Clara ... Pepperdine won the last meeting vs. the Broncos 4-2 during the semifinals of the WCC Tournament.

OPPONENT NOTES - USF is 11-4 on the season, with two of its four losses coming vs. ranked opponents ... The Dons opened WCC action with narrow 4-3 losses to both BYU and Santa Clara before rebounding with a 7-0 triumph over Loyola Marymount ... Santa Clara is 7-4 on the season and undefeated in conference play thus far.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves broke #53 Long Beach State’s 19-match home win streak last week Saturday, beating the 49ers 6-1 ... Matea Cutura issued Maeva Razakasoa her first loss of the season ... Razakosoa was 11-0 prior to the match.

RANKINGS - Lorraine Guillermo is ranked a career-high #19 in singles ... Ale Granillo made her return to the singles rankings on March 11 at #105 ... Yuki Chiang and Michaela Capannolo also returned to the rankings last week at #9.

LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine returns home next weekend to host San Diego (March 28) and BYU (March 29).

2014 ROSTER - After battling a few growing pains in 2013, the 2014 squad boasts much more experience and depth ... 2012 All-American Lorraine Guillermo  resumes her role as the No. 1 singles player, while transfer Matea Cutura has started the year at No. 2 ... Cutura played No. 1 last season for DePaul and was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year ... Ale Granillo, Pepperdine’s lone senior, has been leading from the No. 3 position, while sophomore Michaela Capannolo returns to play No. 4 for the second-straight year ...  Fellow sophomore Danielle Feneridis is back as well ... Four freshmen are also vying for spots in the lineup led by Yuki Chiang, whose successful fall translated into a #117 singles ranking to open the dual season ... Other rookies include Apichaya “Jean” Runglerdkriangkrai, Pattaraporn “PT” Salirathavibhaga and January addition Christine Maddox.

WCC PRESEASON POLL - The Waves landed at No. 2 in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll, edged out by Saint Mary’s by just two points.  Pepperdine picked up four first-place votes in a poll of the league’s coaches for a total of 76 points. The Gaels, currently the highest ranked team in the WCC, took the remaining six first-place bids and 78 points. Pepperdine was the only team to place two players on the all-conference preseason team in Lorraine Guillermo and Ale Granillo.

2013 RECAP - With a young squad, the Waves opened the 2013 season 0-9 before making a tremendous surge forward to end the season on a high note. Pepperdine won 12 of the next 14 duals including a 4-0 upset win over Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament finals. Pepperdine finished the season with a 12-12 record after making its 30th appearance at the NCAA Tournament.

DID YOU KNOW ... That head coach Gualberto Escudero ranks second among all women’s tennis coaches -- active and inactive -- with 638 career wins? Escudero, now in his 37th year at the helm, is just one of three coaches to have reached the 600 wins milestone. Lin Loring, who has been a head coach at both Indiana and UC Santa Barbara for a combined 40 seasons, ranks #1 with over 800 wins, while Georgia’s head coach Jeff Wallace hit the 600-win mark in 2013 after 28 seasons.

Gualberto Escudero - Now in his 37th season at the helm of the program, Gualberto Escudero enters the 2013-14 campaign with a career record of 632-329 (.657).   He took over as head coach in 1977-78 after a decorated career as a student-athlete at Pepperdine.  On the court, he was a finalist at the 1969 WCAC singles tournament and won the doubles title with John Lovelace.  Pepperdine won conference titles in 1969 and 1970 and finished second the next two seasons. His transition from player to coach was a successful one as Escudero has tutored 31 All-Americans, and was honored as WCC Coach of the Year on four occasions.   Escudero was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20.

#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its “Competing with Purpose” campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports – one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat – and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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